Canadian asset management firm 3iQ has received clearance from regulators to bring its Bitcoin Fund to Nasdaq Dubai, per Reuters.
The Bitcoin Fund, which was listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange last year, will be the first indexed cryptocurrency fund the Middle East has seen. It holds approximately $1.5 billion in assets under management, and according to a Reuters interview with 3iQ chairman and CEO, Frederick Pye, it plans to double this figure next year.
“The idea is Bitcoin trades 24 hours a day, so our interest is to bring a regulated product to the Dubai market in their time hours,” Pye said.
When will 3iQ’s Bitcoin Fund appear on Nasdaq Dubai?
Per Reuters, the 3iQ Bitcoin Fund is expected to start trading on Nasdaq Dubai in the second quarter of 2021.
What’s more, the asset management firm is already in talks with exchanges in Singapore, Taiwan, Sweden, and the United States to list the 3iQ Bitcoin Fund in those jurisdictions. The aim is to offer customers access to crypto around the clock, in all time zones.
“We believe that this is the opportune moment to expand this unique investment opportunity into the Middle East region,” Pye added.
Bitcoin funds spring up as institutional investors flock to Bitcoin
3iQ’s move into the Middle East is just the latest example of a growing wave of institutional investment in Bitcoin. Ever since software firm MicroStrategy put $425 million into Bitcoin last summer, institutional investors have piled into the cryptocurrency, with Bitcoin funds springing up to service the growing market.
As well as 3iQ's Bitcoin fund, the Grayscale Bitcoin Fund (GBTC)—per figures gathered this month—represents approximately $37 billion worth of privately held Bitcoin, while the Skybridge Capital Bitcoin Fund, launched in January of this year, grew by $370 million in its first few weeks.
Even Morgan Stanley—one of the world’s largest financial institutions—recently announced that it will offer some of its investors access to Bitcoin funds. Clients must meet a $2 million threshold to qualify.
While Bitcoin funds are a popular financial project today, some, including Skybridge Capital’s COO Brett Messing, have suggested that the emergence of a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) would put his—and conceivably other private funds—out of business.
It’s perhaps unsurprising, then, that Skybridge Capital has since applied for a Bitcoin ETF with the Securities and Exchange Commission, while Grayscale has stated that it’s “100% committed” to converting GBTC into a Bitcoin ETF.